Initially defined as a B-cell growth factor, the pleiotropic nature of interleukin-7 (IL-7) has increasingly become appreciated. Besides its well-known roles in B- and T-cell lymphopoiesis, IL-7 is now known to regulate the homeostasis of both mature T cells and bone cells. In bone, the precise nature of how IL-7 affects osteoclasts and osteoblasts is controversial, since it has a variety of actions in different target cells. These activities are gender-specific and are dependent on whether IL-7 is delivered systemically or locally. In mature T cells, IL-7 is essential for the survival of nearly all subsets. Naïve T cells are also dependent on IL-7 for survival and homeostatic proliferation in response to lymphopenia. In addition, IL-7 plays a role in the survival of memory CD8+ cells, and at high concentrations, it can compensate for the absence of IL-15. The role of IL-7 on memory CD4+ cells remains controversial and has yet to be firmly established.